In Student Affairs, part of what we do on a daily basis is customer service. We practice the Four C’s (communicate, connect, collaborate, and create) through service to our students. While we incorporate these practices most frequently through our in-person interactions, we can continue to expand the ways we apply them proactively through social media.
How? By using the search function on Twitter, not only can you look for handles and hashtags, but specific words in students’ or prospective students’ tweets. According to a study by Nielsen, consumers are more likely to comment on or ask a question on their own handle about a company than they are likely to tweet to a company's handle.
If you aren’t regularly searching for key words related to your office or area, you could be missing out on a pivotal moment to offer proactive customer service to our students. Even if they aren’t directly tweeting to you, students are looking to share frustrations, ask questions and share excitement on Twitter. These are the moments when you can actively address items if their account isn’t set to private. Businesses and other universities are actively marketing to college students, including our students. In fact, in the San Antonio area, there are now start-up companies which provide social media monitoring service to businesses and I’ve even seen private loan companies tweeting to our UTSA students to tell them to contact them about apply for one of their loans, when they mention tuition and money problems. If we aren’t actively searching for our students comments, we’re missing out in serving them in a way that meets their needs!
With just a few minutes of searching key words each day, you can be proactive in offering better social media customer service, without the help of an outside business. If you aren’t already doing this, get started by brainstorming some key words used in your area. For example, in the One Stop Enrollment Center words such as financial aid, transcripts, and FAFSA are frequently used. Undergraduate Admissions’ key words include application, applying, and transferring.
Think about the words or terms your office frequently discusses and try searching for those key words along with UTSA and see what you find. If you see a recent tweet related to your area, reply to the tweet. It can give students the answers and affirmation that they are needing in a quick, socially relevant way. This plays a critical role in showing students that we care and they are more than just a face in a crowd. This connects directly to GRIP. Their voice, whether in person, or on social media is heard. By showing them we see and hear them, we can proactively demonstrate excellence in customer service.
Submitted by —
Sarah Joy Netterlund
Enrollment Services Coordinator,